WMU alums have transformed their passion for fashion into challenging and creative careers. You will find our grads working for national retailers and famous brands worldwide. They are designers, buyers, merchandisers, managers and marketers for companies like Anthropologie, Bloomingdale's, David's Bridal, Express, J. Crew, and Land's End. You will find them in some unexpected places as automotive and airplane interior designers and retail software marketers. We are very proud of our alums!
Fashion Design and Development
This program is offered in-person.
Design and development professionals use their creative and technical skills to design products, develop patterns, monitor quality control and assurance and coordinate sourcing activities in apparel and soft goods companies. The major meets increasing industry demand for graduates who understand the industry's design and merchandising aspects. The design and merchandising functions are becoming more interrelated as apparel firms rely increasingly on private brands; and apparel manufacturers assume a more prominent retailing role. Students who elect this option take design, merchandising, and business courses to prepare them for challenging careers in apparel manufacturing, marketing, and retailing companies.
Prospective students may arrange a department visit by contacting Kelly Weathers.
Why fashion design and development at Western Michigan University?
Find fast success: 97% of 2020-2021 program graduates were employed or continued their education within three months of graduation.
Hands-on learning: Academic quality and experiential focus. Many transformative learning experiences are offered students, including field experiences, internships, and industry tours.
Industry networking: A strong connection to the fashion industry through a professional advisory board represented by top industry members and a strong alumni base
International experiences: Up to 24 credit hours may be earned through study abroad or with our partnerships with the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Regents University and London University of the Arts in London, or Florence University of the Arts in Italy.
Display your work: Annual fashion show sponsored by Merchandising Opportunities and Design Association (MODA). Read about the 2022 MODA fashion show
Nationally recognized: FMD program is the second-largest program in Michigan with integrated merchandising and design programs and is accredited by the prestigious Textile and Apparel Programs Accreditation Commission (TAPAC) and National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The designation of accreditations is a recognition of the quality of Western Michigan’s FMD program. Parents, students, and employers of the graduates can be assured that the FMD program has undergone rigorous peer review and that the program provides their graduates with skills and knowledge for professional careers in the apparel and textile industry. To learn more about the importance of accreditation and the benefits it offers students, please check out additional details at FMD accreditation and mission.
Hear it from us
"My favorite thing in the program is learning how to design from concept to completion."
- Izzy, fashion design and development student